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Plan for a Healthy Democracy (PHD)



Plan for a Healthy Democracy is a project to synergistically combine two randomly-selected citizen deliberative bodies -- one, a Citizens Panel of 12-24 citizens, the other a "Televote" audience of 600 -- to pass informed public judgement on an issue, a ballot initiative, a slate of candidates, or the performance of elected officials. 

The Citizens Panel researches an issue, proposal or set of candidates -- reading briefing papers, interviewing experts and talking it over among themselves.  Meanwhile, out in their homes, the select Televote audience studies impartial briefing packs dealing with the same options the Citizens Panel is considering.  At a scheduled time, the Televoters participate in a live teleconference with the Citizens Panel, after which the Televoters vote on the options, and their tabulated views are given to the Citizens Panel.  After further deliberation, the Citizen Panel issues their recommendations to the public through the media, and their job is done. 

There are two interesting variations of this:  This process is recommended not only to deliberate on issues, ballot initiatives and candidates, but (1) to review the performance of elected officials (governors, senators, etc.) and (2) to monitor the integrity of the PHD process itself.  Each PHD-evaluation panel is made up of a microcosm of the public -- 18 to 24 randomly-selected citizens from throughout the state -- PLUS 12 people chosen by participants in a previous year's citizens panels. 

PHD is organized by the same people who created citizen juries, so they have some experience doing such things. 

The PHD website has a good list of other democracy links at

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